Cuillé, Martin, Miller win NEH fellowships

Tili Boon Cuillé, Lerone A. Martin and Angela Miller
(From left) Tili Boon Cuillé, Lerone A. Martin and Angela Miller all received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (Photos: Whitney Curtis, Sid Hastings and Stan Strembicki/Washington University)

Three faculty members at Washington University in St. Louis have won prestigious research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Tili Boon Cuillé, associate professor of French and of comparative literature in Arts & Sciences, will receive $50,400 to support “Divining Nature: Aesthetics of Enchantment in Enlightenment France.” The book will explore important innovations in 18th-century opera, poetry and visual art in order to demonstrate the deep continuities — and to challenge conventional wisdom about the supposed rifts — between Enlightenment art, religion and science.

Lerone A. Martin, associate professor in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and in Arts & Sciences, will receive $50,400 to support “J. Edgar Hoover’s Stained Glass Window: The FBI, Religion, and National Security in American History, 1935–72”. Currently under contract to Princeton University Press, the book will investigate the complex relationship between religious institutions and the FBI under Hoover’s directorship.

Angela Miller, professor of art history and archaeology in Arts & Sciences, will receive $50,400 to support “Countermoderns: Reason and Magic in the Artistic and Literary Circle of Lincoln Kirstein.” A founder of the New York City Ballet, Kirstein was an important cultural force in mid-20th century Manhattan, championing gay and bisexual artists such as Paul Cadmus, Jared French and George Tooker. Miller’s study of their intertwined lives and works explores an art world contemporaneous with, yet markedly different from, that of Abstract Expressionism.

Cuillé, Martin and Miller are among 74 scholars from across the United States to receive NEH fellowships, which were announced Dec. 12. In all, the NEH awarded $12.8 million to support 253 humanities projects.

“The humanities offer us a path toward understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our nation,” said NEH acting chair Jon Parrish Peede. “These new NEH grants exemplify the agency’s commitment to serving American communities through investing in education initiatives, safeguarding cultural treasures and illuminating the history and values that define our shared heritage.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

For a full list of grants, visit